Though the belt produces a good volume of seasonal mangoes every year, artificially ripened mangoes are being sold in Rautahat these days.

As per reports, mangoes are ripened by using chemicals such as carbide ahead of its natural ripening time before being sold across the district. Chemically ripened mangoes are being sold in district headquarters Gaur, Chandapur, Garuda and Shivanagar. Even though the intake of such fruits poses risks to the consumer's health, the authorities concerned are not doing anything to stop it.

"There's still a week or so left for the fruits to ripen naturally, but some greedy traders looking to make more money are using carbide and other ripening agents and selling mangoes in the market," said locals.

Health experts have cautioned against the side effects of such artificially ripened fruits. "Intake of fruits that are ripened unnaturally with the use of chemicals can cause skin diseases and gastritis.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 22, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.